Is a wave of action against big publishers' practices brewing?gowers.wordpress.com/2012/01/21/els…thecostofknowledge.com Should CS do more? @fortnowQuite a lot on the Internets on Tim Gowers' promise not to work with Elsevier anymore. I'm not as anti-Elsevier as Gowers or many of my readers but I understand the frustrations.
— Tugkan Batu (@tugkanbatu) January 22, 2012
It's easy to make a promise not to publish, edit or referee papers, especially when you don't need to improve your academic reputation. Still a mathematician of his magnitude really puts a spotlight on that publisher.
Because of the Elsevier stigma we've had for several years, all the theoretical CS journals of Elsevier are not nearly as strong as they have been in the past. So you don't accomplish much more just by boycotting Elsevier.
Making a difference means what you do, not what you don't do. Be sure and support journals that are worthy of support by submitting and refereeing papers and serving on editorial boards. The best attack on publishers that you don't like is to have several strong alternatives. The best way to make them strong is by having your support.
No journals is completely free of cost, they require money or time. Open access journals without page charges generally have no revenue stream and require effort to make to publish the journal. For these journals you can volunteer your time as well as submitting, refereeing and editing.
Remember it's easy to complain and say what you won't do but it is what you do do that makes the difference.